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Roberts warns low pay threatens judiciary

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posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 07:31 PM
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I found this interesting the lowest payed federal judge gets $165,200 and Roberts says The issue of pay "has now reached the level of a constitutional crisis." how much money these guys need to make?

Source




posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 07:33 PM
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Not only that, but also given a "living expense" on the side. I think it is ridiculous in the sense that it is tacky to ask like that, and I also would hope that our judges work harder for justice, than a paycheck, especially when they are well above the cost of living.



[edit on 1/1/07 by niteboy82]



posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 07:34 PM
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It's still extremely low when compared to what good lawyers can make in a law firm or private practice, therefore it does pose a problem. Why would a bright lawyer want to be a district judge when they could make 10x more in the private sector?



posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 07:38 PM
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That's part of being an SC judge. You get what you get, but you are in it to do the job of being a supreme court judge.

Usually, SCOTUS judges are a bit older, and have already amassed their own wealth in either the private sector, or though investments. I guess it just goes to show that if you're in it for the money, don't try for the federal jobs.



posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 07:42 PM
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Originally posted by Rasobasi420
That's part of being an SC judge. You get what you get, but you are in it to do the job of being a supreme court judge.


I don't think the focus is the few SCOTUS justices, but the vast number of district court judges that have far less glamorous jobs.



posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 08:03 PM
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The ideal judge is someone who is not in it to make money, their interest lies in being a part of the system, and a good part at that.

I've heard the argument that if you pay them more, they won't be so easy to bribe, but it doesn't wash with me, because greed doesn't have a buyout price, there is no threshold at which point good sense kicks in. It's the same impulse that drives problem gamblers to lose their winnings.

How much is enough? There is no amount of money that can make a greedy person stop being greedy, because they always want more.

Look, anyone who makes 100k a year enjoys a very comfortable life. People who make much more than that are living a life of excess, it's totally gratuitous.

Why don't we ensure that all workers earn a living wage, before we worry about making the rich any richer? I'm not some scrub who's just envious, I've enjoyed periods of comfort thanks to the (albeit temporary) wealth of one of my parents. It doesn't change my position on the subject.

I think that if people can't be happy with the life granted by 100k a year, they aren't ever going to be happy, not with 200k, not with 200 million. If you give them 200 million a year they'll find a hundred new ways to piss it away, and still be left wanting things they can't afford.

It's no kind of solution to provide increasing doses of drugs to drug addicts in an attempt to cure them of their addiction, why should we expect it to work for the greedy? Just give them more and more cash in the hopes they'll see the error in their ways? No, it doesn't work like that...

If we raised the minimum wage to 12 dollars an hour and capped earnings at 35 dollars an hour, the gap in wealth would dry up quickly, don't you think? A lot of greedy people would leave the country, professionals seeking higher wages abroad and so forth, and it would be hard going for a while, but I think in the long run it would fix many of our societal problems.

I know you disagree with me on this dj, but I'd like to hear your argument again.



posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 08:25 PM
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Well yes I do disagree, on multiple levels


First, 100K a year is not really a lot of money anymore, especially if you live in an expensive city like New York or San Francisco etc. How can you raise a family send kids to college and save up for retirement on that when it that doesn't pay for much more than food and the rent on a studio apartment?

Capping earnings on everyone would be an even greater disaster, leading to a brain drain of professionals and fewer people even willing to get advanced degrees in business, law, and medicine. Why would you go through all the trouble of going to law or medical school if in the end you're going to make no more than a day laborer?

Before the Reagan tax cuts, the highest marginal tax rate in the U.S. went up to an astonishing 70%! That pretty much was a cap on earnings like you suggested. What was the economy like then? Massive unemployment, rampant inflation, a stagnant economy etc. Not good at all...



posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 10:46 PM
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Like was mentioned before, if one lives in a big metropolitan area, $165k isn't rich comparitively speaking. If homes go for $600k-$1million +(which is the case in many areas DC, NY, SF, Chicago, LA, etc...), Universities are expensive, etc... one doesn't have much discretionary income after all is said in done in that scenario. If you're competing for the brightest minds, you have to be competitive. There are plenty of honorable jobs that people could have, but don't just because they don't pay the bills.



posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 10:55 PM
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Well if you can not afford the city where you are living in, nobody is forcing you to stay there.

You can always move here in my neck of the woods, send your kids to public schools and live in a piece of land with a mobile home.

But alas, that is unconceivable because some has to keep their standards of living, they are beyond the lower working classes and the poor and can not submit their children to a life with the regular people.

Funny how the mentality of who is better than whom by what you make is what it keeps us divided.

Is funny that the highest court of the land is expressing that they work for money and not for the better good of the nation and to support our constitution.

Perhaps we should privatized the supreme court and see how well that works, after all everything else in our nation is already privatized.


[edit on 1-1-2007 by marg6043]



posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 10:56 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
Well if you can not afford the city where you are living in, nobody is forcing you to stay there.


Marg, don't you think there are courts in the big cities that need judges? They can't exactly live in cheap areas and teleport to work or something...



posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 11:01 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
Well if you can not afford the city where you are living in, nobody is forcing you to stay there.

You can always move here in my neck of the woods, send your kids to public schools and live in a piece of land with a mobile home.

But alas, that is unconceivable because some has to keep their standards of living, they are beyond the lower working classes and the poor and can not submit their children to a live with the regular people.

Funny how the mentality of who is better than whom by what you make is what it keeps us divided.

Is funny that the highest court of the land is expressing that they work for money and not for the better good of the nation and to support our constitution.

Perhaps we should privatized the supreme court and see how well that works, after all everything else in our nation is already privatized.


What is wrong with wanting a good standard of living? There's a difference between that and being completely driven by greed and materialism. The betterment of one's self and situation is the motivation that drives one to achieve. I don't think anyone aspires to squalor.



posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 11:09 PM
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First, 100K a year is not really a lot of money anymore, especially if you live in an expensive city like New York or San Francisco etc. How can you raise a family send kids to college and save up for retirement on that when it that doesn't pay for much more than food and the rent on a studio apartment?


Hold on a second, one hundred thousand dollars is a Hell of a lot of money to most people - most Americans would KILL for a job paying 100k. Take home pay for someone making 100k a year will average over $4500/month, and it could be quite a lot more if you reduce your tax liabilities.

Rent on a studio in Manhattan will run $2500/month, maybe a lot more or a bit less. For another $500 you can get a modest 1 or 2 bedroom apartment. You could live in the boroughs or in Jersey for a lot less.

Assuming you live in Midtown Manhattan, which is in the running for the most expensive place in the world right up there with Tokyo and Geneva and Silicon Valley, that's $1500/month or more after rent, $1050/month after putting 10% aside for savings, and that, my friend, is twice what most people make before rent and savings.

Can you argue with the above math? I mean, New York has a workforce of cooks, dishwashers, maids, busboys, garbage men, valets, cashiers and clerks and so on, none of them make $100k a year, and ALL of them have proven themselves capable of raising families and getting by - now I'm not saying it's easy, quite the opposite, but that's what life is all about.



Capping earnings on everyone would be an even greater disaster, leading to a brain drain of professionals and fewer people even willing to get advanced degrees in business, law, and medicine. Why would you go through all the trouble of going to law or medical school if in the end you're going to make no more than a day laborer?


I'm not suggesting that day laborers should make the same as doctors, what I'm suggesting is that there should be an increase in the minimum wage, perhaps as much as 250%, and a cap on wages - obviously a skilled professional deserves more money for their labor, no doubt.



Before the Reagan tax cuts, the highest marginal tax rate in the U.S. went up to an astonishing 70%! That pretty much was a cap on earnings like you suggested. What was the economy like then? Massive unemployment, rampant inflation, a stagnant economy etc. Not good at all...


I wouldn't be against a tax rate of seventy or even ninety percent if we're talking about people making a million dollars a year or more - only on the condition that the government stops the horrific amount of waste and inefficiency we're becoming accustomed to in this country.

Since that's not going to happen without a revolution, it might make more sense to reduce taxes to a flat eleven or twelve percent and cap earnings at, say a quarter million per year, including options and other non-cash compensation (excluding insurance), while simultaeously raising the minimum wage to help preserve the bottom line.

Anyway, I understand that people want to keep their opulent lifestyles, but it's not going to happen. Either they give it up voluntarily and learn to live in a manner other than that of the French monarchs, or they take the whole country down with them and get to play a part in my Mad Max fantasy.

Either way, the unchecked prosperity experienced by a select few is coming to an end. It's going to be a very hard landing unless people learn what's really important in life, and start fighting to preserve that, instead of their enormous earnings.

I'm not thinking mandatory redistribution, rather, voluntary low interest investment in community self-sufficiency, perhaps rewarded with TRUE land ownership. How's that for wacky?

I don't see an alternative (that doesn't require we spend beyond our means, endanger future generations, and abuse our position in the international community).

Seriously, trickle-down has always been a myth. Wealth wicks up, it doesn't trickle down.

I may not even know what I'm talking about, so please correct me if I'm wrong on any points I've made. I really do just want to understand better. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, I won't take it badly.

But if the 'answer' is that we have to have the modern equivalent of slaves so we can sit on our asses, I don't want to hear it. We do need jobs in this country, but we don't need a return to slavery, by another name. If the corporate world had their way, we'd be working for thirty-five cents an hour...

Why do VCRs/DVD players cost thirty bucks? They're a luxury item! If they were made in this country they would cost a lot more, true, but what's wrong with that? I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the only way we can get our mess straightened out is if we stop buying underpriced crap from overseas and start making our own crap and selling it for a fair price to our own citizens.

Sometimes the only way to beat the game is to change the rules in your favor.

How can we secure a future for this nation if we're not willing to act on behalf of the people, instead of the international business community? We have to suffer for their margins?



posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 11:10 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77

Marg, don't you think there are courts in the big cities that need judges? They can't exactly live in cheap areas and teleport to work or something...


You know I watched a program on the news about the new wave of suburbs that are sprouting in areas in the country side that people are buying into even if they have to drive 5 or 6 hours to work, to give their children a better environment to grow up without the fast pace life of the big city.

But our housing market is making these areas so expensive that the local people that has been living in this once small communities facing the higher property taxes that the new communities because their high priced houses are creating.

Many of the old communities are complaining.

And the sad part is that most of the city people buying the expensive houses in the country don't even get to enjoy them in their time off because they are so far away from home while at work.

GT100FV,

Many people in order to support their standard of living live beyond their means.

Is nothing wrong with moving to smaller towns and provided their services, they maybe will be making less but at least they can afford a small Town way of living.



posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 11:57 PM
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If you're talking about Federal judges, and that's what this thread is about, then you're limited to where they'll have to work. Of course even if you're not talking about judges, you still have to choose where you live based on where you work(what you do plays a big role here too). If you are in the semi conductor business, or work at a shipyard, or for General Motors, etc.. then you can't just pick the cheapest place in the country to live. You live where those industries are. Not all careers allow one to live in a small town, or in the country.

As for the post about wage caps and increasing the minimum wage 250 percent- you need to take some courses in economics. Those ideas would be horrific for the economy and employment. You can't tax yourself into prosperity, and one's income is theirs not the governments'. There's not been a successful command economy. Capitalism has been shown to be the superior economic model. It's not perfect, but it's better than everything else. As for trickle down economics- JFK believed in it, and when he lowered the taxes, government revenue went up. That's one of the places that Reagan came up with that notion(seeing that it worked in practice and not just in theory).



posted on Jan, 2 2007 @ 12:27 AM
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Justice shouldn't be about money...

This just shows you how pathetic our kangaroo courts are getting.



posted on Jan, 2 2007 @ 12:36 AM
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It's amazing how people miss the entire point of the statement.


Roberts is saying if we don't pay judges more we'll either have a selection of people who are either too unskilled to make any more money in the private sector or people who are so rich they don't care what their salary is.

Since the real earnings of judges is quite low compared to what a skilled attorney could make in the private sector, the first class of judges would be quite sub par. The second may have interests in their own assets that conflict with the good of the people.

He's just saying pay judges a salary competitive with similar jobs in the public sector.

Even the founding fathers showed great interest in the salary of judges, since they wrote into the Constitution that judges' salaries can't be lowered while in office, a trick the king of England used to keep judges making judgments he wanted.



posted on Jan, 2 2007 @ 12:36 AM
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Originally posted by sp00n1
Justice shouldn't be about money...

This just shows you how pathetic our kangaroo courts are getting.


The topic isn't about representation, but how qualified your prospective judicial candidates are, based upon who's interested in that field.



posted on Jan, 2 2007 @ 12:46 AM
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As for the post about wage caps and increasing the minimum wage 250 percent- you need to take some courses in economics. Those ideas would be horrific for the economy and employment. You can't tax yourself into prosperity, and one's income is theirs not the governments'.


1.) I have taken courses in economics, and I've read a fair bit on the subject.

2.) I didn't say a thing about taxes in my post (except in making a point about government efficiency).

3.) I do believe that people ought to be able to put their money to work for them instead of entrusting it to the government - what on earth gave you the idea that I thought otherwise. I just re-read my post, looking for anything that might have set you on this path of thinking, and I couldn't find a thing. Perhaps you too should re-read the post and attempt to address the issues I raised and the points I made, instead of addressing issues I didn't raise and points I didn't make.





There's not been a successful command economy. Capitalism has been shown to be the superior economic model.


That's a fact. Where in my post do you get the impression I don't appreciate the value of capitalism? I just don't feel capitalism needs to be open-ended to function properly - a wage cap doesn't functionally change the equation for 90% of workers, and I frankly don't give a damn about the other 10%.

It's not as if I'm suggesting they should starve, I just don't think they've done anything to merit a lifestyle befitting royalty. A wage-cap would encourage companies to hire more employees instead of cutting work forces left and right while simultaneously increasing their executive compensation packages to levels that boggle the mind.



JFK believed in it, and when he lowered the taxes, government revenue went up. That's one of the places that Reagan came up with that notion(seeing that it worked in practice and not just in theory).


Look, I'll say it again - I would support high taxes if we had a responsible and efficient government, but don't worry about that, because we don't and probably never will.



How does an 11% tax rate equate to a rise in your mind? I pay more than that now, and I make a Hell of a lot less than 250k a year - if I was making that much I'd likely be paying a percentage approaching fifty.

:shk:

Anyway, if you want to discuss the issues I raised, I'd like that. If you want to completely misrepresent my argument so you can argue against the strawman instead of the real deal, I'm going to call foul.



posted on Jan, 2 2007 @ 01:43 AM
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The second part of my post was aimed at another poster. Sorry for the confusion.



posted on Jan, 2 2007 @ 02:13 AM
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GT100FV
My mistake then. Just FYI though, just because I'm a mod doesn't mean you can't debate with me. Neither I nor any other mod will warn or ban you or cause you grief just for disagreeing. Remember that.


djohnsto77


Roberts is saying if we don't pay judges more we'll either have a selection of people who are either too unskilled to make any more money in the private sector or people who are so rich they don't care what their salary is.


That makes an assumption about the character of prospective judges that is both insulting and incorrect, IMO. Roberts ought to realize that just because he himself may lack principles, doesn't mean everybody else does.

So what if I could make ten times more money greasing the wheels of justice to get scumbags off the hook? It doesn't enter into the equation for people who have a lifelong dream to become a judge for the right reasons.



He's just saying pay judges a salary competitive with similar jobs in the public sector.


I'm afraid that's impossible. I have an alternative though. Why not lower the salaries of the lawyers?


Seriously...



Even the founding fathers showed great interest in the salary of judges, since they wrote into the Constitution that judges' salaries can't be lowered while in office, a trick the king of England used to keep judges making judgments he wanted.


I don't want to be misunderstood, I think that judges serve a critical role in our justice system (really there's no thinking about it, it's a fact). I just don't think salaries in the high six-figures are helpful or necessary.

People will either live within their means, or they won't. Doesn't matter how much you raise their salary - if they lack good judgement they won't be able to make ends meet. Look at Elton John, multi-millionaire, pop idol, and he bankrupted himself thanks to a fresh flower habit, among other things.


Point being, judges make a comfortable living as it is. There are people who make an extraordinary living, but I don't think we need to be shooting for those levels for our civil servants - in fact I don't think we should be shooting for those levels at all, they're gratuitous and insulting to those who are told they should be happy with a paltry minimum wage job.

If people can be survive and raise families on six dollars an hour in this country, what makes anyone think judges can't be happy with sixty dollars an hour? And while we're on the subject, why do some do-nothing executives make the equivalent of thousands upon thousands of dollars an hour?

What service, exactly, do they perform, that warrants such astromical compensation? I know, I know, public companies vote on salaries - the part we don't hear repeated ad-nauseum is that majority shareholders collude to raise each others' salaries, because every time a salary is raised it sets the bar for the next guy who gets hired.

:shk:

I don't begrudge anyone success, but I do think there is a point where enough becomes too much, and for a small percentage of our society, that point was breached long ago. To pay for those excesses, the little guys suffer, and suffer, and suffer some more.

Look at it from a practical perspective, even if these rich fools can't find it in themselves to be compassionate, they can at least be calculating. If you kick a dog enough times, the dog will bite. The dog has been kicked, and kicked, and kicked, and it's looking pretty mean right about now. Common sense says it's better to lose little than to lose big.



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